PUTIN: Mr. Madden, despite objections from my staff, and the coterie of oligarchs at my side, I’ve decided to at least listen for a few minutes to what a crisis manager would say from the country that’s so stubbornly blind as to what’s really going on in Ukraine—the United States. So go ahead, enlighten me, says Putin with a satiric smile.
MADDEN: Thank you President Putin for this rare privilege of speaking to you directly about the war between Russia and Ukraine.
PUTIN: First, Mr. Madden, what you’re calling a war is really a skirmish, a rescue mission to free Ukraine from the Nazi regime there who are insane enough to think Ukraine is an independent country and that they can get away with persecuting, killing our countrymen there whom they brazenly call “separatists”
MADDEN: Mr. Putin, can I ask you a question as it would help me tremendously to advise you as I have advised in the past many leaders of some of the largest organizations in America facing imminent danger to the giant entities they helped to build.
PUTIN: Go ahead!
MADDEN: As your crisis manager, I’ll ask you this. Could you offer to make a deal, or at least appear to be open to one, that you would cease all military action in Ukraine in return for a solemn pledge from NATO that it will not accept Ukraine or even consider it as a member for at least five years?
PUTIN: Sorry, too late for that now. Biden had his chance and should have brought me an offer like that a month ago.
MADDEN: All right, thank you. Then let me ask you this. Do you see anything wrong with Russians dropping bombs that are killing innocent civilians, pregnant mothers and their children, who have done nothing to Russia, who are totally innocent, and their suffering is hardly just play acting as you portray them in your propaganda?
PUTIN: It’s just like you westerners to cast Russia as the aggressor when it’s this actor/comedian Zelensky who’s running what you think is a country. A showman who’s placing all of Ukraine’s inhabitants in harm’s way because of his ego and stubbornness in not wanting to leave the stage on which he’s playing a starring role, picturing himself as David vs. Goliath.
MADDEN: Well, Mr. Putin, if you are not the Goliath in this story of bloodshed and terror causing deaths of innocent children, who are you?
PUTIN: I am the police surrounding a barricaded building taken over by a crazy man and his cronies holding innocent people hostage, including women and children you feel so sorry for. They need to surrender, give up. Be Russian!
MADDEN: But the world sees you as the aggressor, the villain, the sinner in this sorrowful tragedy. Do you not feel their outrage, their utter contempt for you?
PUTIN: That’s because you want the West and NATO to win, to become more powerful by adding the Ukraine into the nefarious ring of countries surrounding Russia aiming their nuclear weapons at us. Well, the encirclement stops here. Ukraine is an integral part of Russia, and you will not have it for yourselves to threaten the country whose language most Ukrainians speak—Russian!
MADDEN: So, is this the legacy you want, Mr. Putin, that human lives mean nothing as you strive to return Russian to an empire of the past? Is that the legacy for which you’re willing to murder so many? To return to a Soviet Union once comprising Ukraine and the many countries who’ve divorced you and eloped with a more attractive west, joining NATO in what you see as an evil and conspiratorial matrimony? Is that how you see it?
PUTIN: Well, you sure have a way with words, Madden, but that’s all you Americans are: just WORDS! Well, we Russians are ACTIONS, not words. We will do what we have to do to return Mother Russia to her former greatness. Now get out! The interview is over. And tell your President Biden, he hasn’t deterred us for one second with all his so-called sanctions and threats of severe consequences. In fact, he’s inspiring us even more to succeed no matter what the consequences to Ukrainian people who have elected a comedian as their leader. Want to do crisis management? Go help Ukraine. They’re in crisis, not me!
MADDEN: Before you kick me out, can I say just one more thing?
PUTIN: Go ahead. Make it short.
MADDEN: To put it succinctly, you’re a jackass, Mr. Putin. And besides defeat and ignominy, that will be your legacy!
Besides a crisis manager and veteran blogger, Tom Madden is a former journalist and an author of countless published articles and five books, including his latest, WORDSHINE MAN, available April on Amazon. He is the founder and CEO of TransMedia Group, an award-winning public relations firm serving clients worldwide since 1981 and has conducted remarkably successful media campaigns and crisis management for America’s largest companies and organizations.